by James Fleming

The fight against ignorance is central to The Lonely Cry Of Space And Time. Combining the natural with the political, the scientific with the philosophical, and then soundtracking those themes with stirring, atmospheric electric guitar-strumming and haunting vocals is a deadly concoction. More »

by James Fleming

Psychedelic rock tends to make more promises than it can keep. More »

Both musicians and music critics are responsible. Musicians make the music, critics give it a name. When Slint released the seminal Spiderland in ’91, they had no idea that what was already a love/hate genre in the eyes of many a music fan (post-rock/math-rock) would fuse with other love/hate genres (emo). More »

Good jazz is like a good movie; every time you experience it, you notice something new. A line of dialogue you missed the first time, a new saxophone phrase, an interesting shot, or a creative harmonic. Bitches Brew is a perfect example; where there are so many musical ideas in just one piece of music that you could listen to it a thousand times and never get bored. There’s that much creativity in it. More »

John Scott marks the passing of bassist and vocalist John Wetton by revisiting the 1973 King Crimson classic.  More »

Formed 5 years ago but playing music together going back as long as 15 years ago, Miss Lucid have created their 5 track, self-titled debut record, due for release in April 3rd on Fat Hippy Records. The debut single, ‘The Beast’ was unleashed on March 6th and they will also have some live dates that will be announced imminently. Luckily I got my hands on the full album for review! More »

It’s the new record from Moshi Moshi signings Happyness, who are releasing the follow-up to their acclaimed cult hit debut album, ‘Weird Little Birthday’, on April 7th this year. This new album “Write In” was recorded in their studio, right above a now-demolished old book shop, and is said take in a much wider range of influences, highlighting many new sides to the band’s song writing style. With the band only gaining more steam and heading for promising things by all accounts, it was only right that this little piglet here got her hands on it for a listen to see what all the hype is about!

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From the first few lines of the opening anti-gentrification title track it was clear I was going to love this record and it just gets better the more you listen to it. My first time round was in the car and it was played three times in a row. I know little about the band, the CD came with no information and the band all have paper bags on their heads in the cover photo and as we listened on that drive we were second guessing who the band actually were. The singer has a quality to his voice that reminded me of Suggs out of Madness and I wrongly assumed that this was perhaps a side project of his. More »

It is 40 years this month since Iggy Pop’s debut album, ‘The Idiot’, was first released. Back in the grunge-heyday of the early 90s, ‘The Idiot’ was a puzzling prospect. Iggy Pop and Lou Reed were basically the godfathers of anything that was alternative, but here was a classic album of Pop’s canon, typically considered his best, that was drenched in synths and minimalistically dancey rhythms, with nary a guitar to be found on most of the tracks! Robert Harris explores this iconic record.  More »

Rather amazingly, Dreadzone are one of those bands who’ve been around together for seemingly ages (they’re now in their third decade) – and yet the public at large is still blissfully unaware of them.  That’s incredible, don’t you think?  If I were asked to name the one band who’s playing at Glastonbury at the exact moment when you ‘find yourself’, then Dreadzone would likely be that band.  That’s because along with their hazy mix of deep bass, dub beats and dance undertones, there’s a definite lean towards the otherworldly music which spills out of the West Holts Dance area.  Call it dub, reggae, dubtronica or post-rave, it really doesn’t matter – it’s melodic, very listenable and you can’t help but shake in time with the music.

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Keyboard maestro Vangelis has personally overseen the remastering of Delectus,  a 13 disc retrospective collection comprised of a selection of his solo albums and those recorded with Jon Anderson of Yes.  More »

I first saw Pixies playing live nearly 30 years ago at Manchester International supporting Throwing Muses (who were promoting their second album ‘House Tornado’ – still one of my all-time favourite albums).  I didn’t actually realise at the time, but it was to be one of those tours which people still talk about years later (‘You were there??!!  No way!!’).  I was – and still am – an avid 4AD fan, so I’d purchased Pixies’ album ‘Surfer Rosa’ on its release just over a month prior to the gig.  The album’s now well-documented ‘loud-quiet-loud’ songs made for an essential listen; Pixies didn’t sound like much else at the time – and certainly nothing on the 4AD roster.  I likely don’t need to tell you that bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead & David Bowie cited them as a huge influence.  It still amazes me how Pixies signed to a London-based label, despite originating from Boston, Massachusetts – and even 4AD themselves nearly passed on the opportunity had it not been for the girlfriend of then-chief Ivo Watts-Russell who managed to persuade him.

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George Jones was the king of heartbreak. But with his demise in 2013, Jim Lauderdale, the crown prince, could very well take the throne. However, it’s not as simple as a mere coronation ceremony. It’s a test of mettle, of experience, and of the songs. With a solo career spanning from 1986 to 2017, Lauderdale has the experience, and as evidenced by London Southern, he has a firm grasp on the songs. However, the sceptre just about slips away.    More »

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the STS Digital reel to reel copy of Jazz Masters Volume 1 More »

When I think of reggae coming out of the UK in the 80s and 90s my mind immediately jumps to the fabulous On-U Sounds label and producer Adrian Sherwood. Indeed, in the early 90s I had a radio show on Sony Radio Station of the Year winner Wear FM called The Midnight Train To Doomsville inspired by the Lee Perry tune of the same name. Every week we would start the show with the full version of the song taken from one of the On-U Sound Pay It All Back series of compilations. The label even inspired a group of us to form a reggae band that enjoyed reasonable success in the North East of the country…but I digress. More »

This Is Steve” is the latest contribution by the lively, playful, imaginative and inimitable guitarist Delicate Steve. Formerly signed to David Byrne’s label he’s established himself as not only an exciting instrumentalist in his own right, producing and playing everything on the new album, but also a go-to figure for work with artists like Dirty Projectors, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Lee Ranaldo and Built to Spill. More »

A new signing to Innovative Leisure. The Molochs have picked up some great support lately from many aficionados in the music world, all noting their retro take on things, with a contemporary slant. Theirs is a mission statement that promises to pull apart the past, rather than recreate it, and on this new album, ‘America’s Velvet Glory’ (due out the 13th of January), their spritely garage nods to the likes of Violent Femmes, Kinks, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground and other such artists. More »

Can a genre ever die? Can it really simply fade into the past, confined to a coffin of retrospective reviews and nostalgia tours?

It’s been noted that previous attempts at revivals of music genres failed. Very occasionally, you’ll get one that results in something different; neo-psychedelia is proof of that, as is the garage rock or post-punk revival of the early 00s. More »

Never one to avoid an obvious cliché, John Scott takes a walk on the wild side and reacquaints himself with Lou Reed’s 1972 hit album. More »

Making noise is a bit like making a mistake: any fool can make a mistake, but it takes skill to cause a fiasco. More »